“If you want to succeed in marriage you need to be a little deaf sometimes.”
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (paraphrased)
Good morning to you, friends! I’m aware that some of you are still experiencing after effects of Hurricane Matthew, or perhaps you have friends or family affected, so my prayers are with you. May peace be with you soon.
This morning I reflect on this quote I heard last week from an interview Justice Ginsburg granted earlier in the year. I was walking listening to a podcast when this quote nearly stopped me in my tracks. Justice Ginsburg summarized a solution for much of the stress, anxiety and brokenness in our world. All we need is a little deafness!
I modify Justice Ginsburg’s quote to include success in any area of relationships. Whenever and wherever people gather for any reason we are often our own worst enemies. To wit, very frequently I am privy to conversations that don’t deserve the word; they are more accurately arguments and heavy disagreements. Participants make their points early then spend the rest of the time defending and debating. The thought seems to be that the last one to speak “wins”. Have you ever been caught in such a scene? No fun, is it?
Our desires to “win” or “be right” cause us to behave in ways that create more casualties than confidants. We say the harsh word, or mean word, or hurtful word, all in the passionate pursuit of “winning”. Or these words are said to us. What if we prioritized relationships over “right” and we over “wins”? Selective deafness takes maturity, self-confidence, compassion, forgiveness and more… a quality package of a good stuff.
Lest you think me to be a one-sided hypocrite, I confess. I am so thankful my wife is a practitioner of selective deafness. At my worst I am a terrible husband and father and our continuity is supremely due to her deafness to my badness. At the worst of us all we drive people away instead of attracting them just as often as we are driven away. We all need a little deafness.
If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your life try a little deafness today. In the eyes of other persons you’ll win less and you’ll be right less but on the better side you will have less stress, anxiety, frustration and anger as well as more friends. Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for delivering this fine decision for us. I hope we will all accede to your ruling! I’ll try; will you? I hope you will make it a priority, and have a great week!